Remember back in August when we basked in these last glorious dog days of summer, and looked with such wide, hopeful eyes towards the onslaught of September?
Now it’s November, and for many of us the tornado of Fall semester behind us, we have some time to look back and reflect on the insanity that was.
Librarians have been working really hard to get an information literacy presence into the classroom for decades. Some with great success…. Maybe even a bit *too* much success. Given the enormous time constraints placed on librarians as they become increasingly in demand for in-class teaching, I’ve started thinking about where we go from here. How can we continue to push forward an information literacy curriculum that meets faculty demand, is effective for student learning, and doesn’t create a Fall teaching schedule that makes us want to collectively crawl under our desks with a box of kleenex and a bottle of finely-crafted whiskey?
I’m hearing more and more about inverted (or “flipped”) classrooms as an emerging teaching model in higher education. Today, this Ed Tech article, “Colleges Go Proactive with Flipped Classrooms” really got me thinking more about this technique, and how we might apply it to information literacy instruction. As the article explains:
In a flipped classroom, professors don’t lecture in class. Students watch recordings of lectures online as homework. They learn the material on their own time, freeing up class time for collaborative activities, such as group projects and classroom discussions.
Let me tell you a story about a group of third-year marketing students who came in a few weeks ago, looking for help finding consumer attitudes and market information pertaining to smart phones and wireless chargers (yes, wireless chargers, specifically this one). I was able to help the students find some pretty great resources, created and sent an e-mail with a few links, and sent them happily down the path of successful research.
Fun times at the liberry!
My summer break stretched into a first-half-of-Fall-semester break because, as you can probably imagine, things were a touch busy during September and early October. However it’s now Fall reading week here at the U of O, which means things have quieted down significantly thank the GOOD LORD. No more twelve hour days okay, work? Ugh.
Sometimes people put videos on YouTube that are so divine, and so delightfully brilliant, that they merit some honourable mention. No, I’m not talking about that video of the kid who just got back from the dentist. Or the ninja cat.
I’m talking about videos created by academic educators — librarians among them — that explain really complex scholarly concepts in clear and succinct 5 minute (or so) videos. They’re from a variety of places, and have a variety of approaches, but the common thread is that they are amazing teaching tools. Watching them has actually made me a better instructional librarian, and I even played one in a class I taught because I though the creators did such a fantastic job of relaying key information literacy concepts.
K, I realise I have not posted on this blog since JULY. But I have a good excuse: I am so GD BUSY. Who are the jerks that spread rumors about librarians going home at 5pm? They are big liars!
ANYWAY: I have been prepping for instruction-season at York, and it’s lots of fun and students are adorable and all but it’s ALOT OF WORK. Here’s an example of a web guide I put together that will go along with a presentation I will be giving for a class in a few weeks. I earns ma pay! (See where it says, “The handout provided in class is available here.”? CLICK ON IT. My infamous clip-art skillz live on!) (Okay, I could resist including an image of the handout. I luuuuv ma handouts!)
Clip Art Awesomeness
Also, I am taking part in a few associations.
1) FIAA: Faculty of Information Alumni Association. It’s fun! I am on the social media committee (Ooooooh!). I’d like to point out that to organize the group, Kim (Elle Presidenta) created a Huddle space. From what I can tell, Huddle is a project management application, and the functionality is really hot. If you’re interested in an PM app, Huddle is worth checking out.
2) I am the newest blogger for the Re:Generations blog, which is a blog hosted by the Re:Generations committee — the branch of the Canadian Association of College and University Librarians that is for the lil’uns (read: New and Emerging Librarians). I’m also the New Professionals Rep (or something to that effect), so I get to like… professionalize. And such. I just had a conference call with the group, and I’m pretty stoked!